Cultural Sensitivity and Laura Ingalls Wilder

After I wrote about a stranger's astonishment that my four-year-old daughter understands what I read to her, and the book involved happened to be On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder, my mom sent me a link to an article about the recent controversy over whether Wilder's books are appropriate for today's … Continue reading Cultural Sensitivity and Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Two Books to Read Once

Most of my life, I've enjoyed reading the same books over and over--not too often, but returning to old favorites every few years.  I noticed that what felt like "a few years" increased as I got older, but then when I was pregnant with my daughter I suddenly wanted to read only books that were … Continue reading Two Books to Read Once

Princess X and The Husband’s Secret Love Languages [book reviews]

Here's a sprightly introduction to my reviews of the books I read in the past month. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty There are multiple husbands with multiple secrets in this twisty story, which is sort of a mystery but also an excellent "modern realistic fiction" novel with lots of complex characters. Cecilia finds a … Continue reading Princess X and The Husband’s Secret Love Languages [book reviews]

Go Green in 2018: Can You Afford to Buy Greener Products?

Twenty years ago, I saw a catalog filled with practical household products that were better for the environment than the stuff we'd been using: laundry and dish and cleaning products made from plants and natural minerals, paper products made from recycled paper, tampons and cloth towels made from organic cotton.  I was excited!  But I'd … Continue reading Go Green in 2018: Can You Afford to Buy Greener Products?

Time Travel, Story Structure, and Unconvincing Women [book reviews]

It's been several months since I've posted book reviews.  Here's what I've been reading.... Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal This novel has an extremely interesting structure, on which is hung a story that doesn't need to be told this way, if it needs to be told at all.  Each chapter is … Continue reading Time Travel, Story Structure, and Unconvincing Women [book reviews]

Walkable City, Visible City, and 4 more book reviews

My brother got me two books about cities for my birthday--one fiction and one nonfiction, both great books with great covers! Here they are, along with reviews of the other books I've read recently. Walkable City by Jeff Speck I love living in a walkable urban neighborhood!  This book by a city planner told me a … Continue reading Walkable City, Visible City, and 4 more book reviews

Compost Blanketing the Sahara

Last night, Daniel and I were talking about what might happen with Africa in this century.  It's an interesting question, considering that Africa has an unusually young population, many unstable governments, metals that are hard to find anywhere else on Earth, significant presence of both Christian and Muslim fundamentalists, and very uneven distribution of resources.  All kinds … Continue reading Compost Blanketing the Sahara